On Thursday night a meeting at The Sandon pub near Anfield – the original birthplace of Liverpool FC – was attended by around 200 supporters from various supporters groups, fanzines and websites. A productive meeting, organised by the Liverpool Supporters Network saw some interesting revelations and has resulted in some planned action in the shape of a ‘Son’s of Shankly’ group working under the heading of Liverpool Supporters Union.
This Is Anfield’s Dylan Pemberton was at the meeting, here he explains the plans of ‘Sons of Shankly’ in his own words, and is supported by This Is Anfield.
1) A ‘˜working party’ (Sons of Shankly) was established and will be giving out leaflets at the Sunderland match letting people know some of the lesser known facts about the American’s dirty dealings. The leafleting puts the information out there and informs the fans still in the dark exactly what’s goin on so this is a good outcome of the meeting.
2) There will be a protest AFTER the Sunderland game to last for at least 15 minutes obviously aimed at Hicks and Gillett. As I’m sure a lot of people will be happy with (and based on Rafa’s personal wishes on this), we will be fully supporting the team during the 90 minutes of play. Again, I think this was an obvious but good outcome of the meeting. So all fans….make sure you or no-one around you starts leaving with 10 mins to go just so they can race back to their car without being pulled up about it. We need full support of this. Stay behind after the match – do NOT leave at full time.
3) Boycotting the club shop and official merchandise. I can see where people are coming from on this and I myself am in favour of direct action but personally I think it is misguided ‘“ we are unlikely to genuinely hit them in the pocket and it’s a slow burner so for me this is symbolic at best. However, any action is good action so please….don’t use the shop! Please also avoid buying a programme, golden goal ticket, food/drink at the stadium so they can see a tangible drop in the days revenue. In fact, don’t buy a programme but buy a fanzine instead.
For me, any campaign of this nature has to have the following elements:
1) Symbolic. People are misguided if they think we can really hit them in the pocket enough to walk away ‘“ if all fans did it then yes but there is too much apathy and self serving I’m afraid. However, a campaign only needs to be symbolic to show them what we could do.
2) Actionable. Any campaign has to be realistic, viable and easily organised / stewarded by activists.
3) Measurable. We need immediate results not slow burners.
4) High impact. Anything we do needs to be unique and saleable to the media outlets.
5) Subversive. We need to hit their partners ‘“ Sky, Carlsberg, Ladbrokes, MBNA etc. These are the people with the real hotline to the club and their commercial interests.
Anyway, while I’m not convinced that any of the actions meet all of the above component parts (and would like to instead see things like all fans arriving 15 mins late for a match, picketing programme sellers etc. and buying fanzines instead as I suggested a week or two ago and Matt helped refine), at least people are doing something and I appreciate the timescales for this weekend are compressed. A lot of people will have worked late into the night last night to try and pull this together so we have to thank them for their efforts and support their output. From small acorns grow big trees and what was started is a movement, a union of fans.
Remember, they can buy the club but they cannot buy our spirit.